Putting the DEI in the DIB

(Woohae Cho/Getty Images)

Defense experts and sensible law and policymakers are focused on whether the United States can get itself on a war footing if Xi Jinping invades Taiwan.

Comparisons have been drawn to Franklin Roosevelt’s "Arsenal of Democracy" and the "greatest generation" that mobilized America’s industrial might into a defense industrial base (DIB) that could equip the militaries of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union simultaneously during World War II.

But this generation has different priorities than ensuring that Ukraine beats back Russian aggression, Israel defeats Hamas, and Taiwan deters a revanchist China. Our defense leaders are focused on putting the D-E-I in the D-I-B.

Last week, the head of one of America’s defense giants, Kathy Warden of Northrop Grumman, was named chair of the board of Catalyst, a global nonprofit promoting gender equity and workplace inclusion.

Warden should be focused on ramping up B-21 bomber production given the program’s delays. And one would think the $1.5 billion charge her shareholders took as a result of inflation and supply chain issues also merits attention.

Instead, Warden and Catalyst are spearheading a "global DEI transformation" and "leveraging empathy to build antiracist organizations." Other Catalyst initiatives encourage business leaders to explore "indigenous life in Canada" and "flexible masculinities at work," while a webinar from the nonprofit says DEI "shouldn't require a bottom-line justification."

Meanwhile, the $96 billion Sentinel ICBM program that Northrop Grumman is developing is at least 37 percent over budget and two years late. It could actually be canceled as part of a congressionally mandated review process for programs that have fallen woefully behind.

Not to worry, though. Last month, at Catalyst's annual awards show, Hillary Clinton offered attendees "practical advice on how to challenge systemic barriers" and achieve "gender parity." Can you hear Xi cowering in fear?